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Marlwood School


Marlwood Curriculum Intent

Student Experience

We believe in breadth of curriculum: students learning a broad range of subjects for as long as possible. As of September 2019 our students will receive a traditional curriculum, which is broad and balanced. The curriculum is designed to enable all students to flourish academically and acquire the knowledge, skills, employability competencies, cultural capital and character development required for a successful and fulfilled life.

We want all of our students to:

  • Lead a life that is personally flourishing
  • To help others to do so, too

Student Progress

Progress is not simply what we use to measure with levels, but rather it comprises knowledge that has been learned and then retained in long-term memory. It is vital that our students make at least expected progress. It is our goal for our students to strive for excellence and outperform their peers nationally. However, progress goes beyond a collection of marks in a tracking document; it is much more complex than that.

Progress depends on learners having a network of inter-related ideas and values that they skilfully draw on to make sense of what they are doing and experiencing.  Progress indicators differ depending on the subject discipline or spiritual, moral, social and cultural goals of the learning experience.  It requires us to go back and think in detail about what it means to ‘get better’ in terms of behaviours, cognition or appreciation. It is about creativity, connections and schematics, not isolated information. It is about the development of the whole person.

Each faculty and subject at Marlwood School plays a significant and deliberate role in implementing the intent of the whole school curriculum through the distinctiveness nature of their disciplinary content, skills and approach.

Each faculty and subject at Marlwood School plays a significant and deliberate role in implementing the intent of the whole school curriculum.



At Marlwood the Maths Department passionately believes that Mathematics:

  • Empowers us to explain the world around us
  • Develops skills to solve real life problems.
  • Is a language which everyone can understand and use.
  • Opens doors to a richer understanding of the world increasing our confidence in every area of life including finances, decision making and facing unfamiliar problems.

The intent of our curriculum is for all students to experience and value these truths about Maths.

The Marlwood School Maths Curriculum is designed in order for Key Stage 3 to equip students with the essential core knowledge required building upon their Key Stage 2  achievements and placing them in a strong position to be successful at GCSE level.

At KS4 our curriculum enables students to access and engage with all three assessment objectives tested at both Foundation and Higher Tier GCSEs. This allows students of all mathematical abilities to make progress, reach their targets and go on to study and work in the fields of their choice. We have a strong tradition of our mathematicians successfully continuing their studies at A-Level based on the foundations laid during their KS4 studies. 



  1. At Key stage 3 the scheme of learning and associated resources are designed to be taught to pupils of all ability levels based on the statement from the national curriculum that “The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace”.
  2. Further support for students who are not yet ready to access parts of the curriculum is provided through the department’s intervention programme.
  3. Extension opportunities for students who grasp the concepts more rapidly is provided through reasoning and problem solving questions looking at the topic in more depth, rather than through acceleration through the programme. This is in line with national curriculum guidance that “Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content”.
  4. At Key stage 4 the curriculum is structured so that students in different sets (as far as is practicable) encounter content in the same order to facilitate set changes as required and allow changes to tiers of entry.

Teaching Order – Year 7 and 8

Students concentrate on a key set of basic skills each term as a starter, homework, DIRT cycle.  This addresses retention of common skills that are required throughout many topics.  Each term builds on the previous term and also revisits core topics.

The order of teaching units has been planned to build up essential concepts as the course progresses and reviewed after each year of teaching to ensure its effectiveness. The structure and rationale of both years is as follows:

  1. Number and ratio – Key number and ratio topics are taught first. A good grasp of number is essential to all aspects of maths, for example students cannot solve even the simplest equations without having a grasp of order of operations, fractions, ordered numbers and many other topics. By covering the number concepts first, this will allow the following topics to be taught in more depth whilst also reinforcing these essential skills.
  2. Algebra – The algebra skills required are spaced out during the year.  This again will allow for more depth in the next units where geometrical problems can be generalised and missing values can be correctly represented and found in statistical problems, for example.
  3. Data, probability and Geometry – These units deal with these topics providing opportunities for students to reinforce and practise their number and algebra work within the scope of the topics covered.

Teaching Order – Year 9 to 11

Students concentrate on a key set of basic skills each term as a starter, homework, DIRT cycle.  This addresses retention of common skills that are required throughout many topics.  Each term builds on the previous term and also revisits core topics.

The order of teaching units follows the recommended teaching route by Edexcel.  Over a three year scheme of learning, topics build on one from another and opportunities to combine skills across multiple topics is encouraged.

Definitions and Language:

  1. The definitions given to students in lessons and as part of their knowledge organisers are taken directly from the NCETM glossary of mathematical terms. These definitions contain technical language and a variety of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary that students may struggle with initially. This is done intentionally to expose students to this vocabulary from an early age and to allow it to become part of their everyday language.
  2. The job of the teacher in the delivery of the content is to decode this language for students at every opportunity to allow students to begin to understand these terms through repetition and regular exposure.

Mastery and extension activities:

  1. The scheme of learning is based around 3 increasing levels of understanding of the topics as identified through a mastery approach. These are:
  • Fluency – The ability to confidently use a mathematical process to answer a simple mathematical problem or calculation without context.
  • Application – The ability to apply the concepts learned to an unfamiliar problem or a problem involving some context and interpret the answer accordingly.
  • Reasoning – The ability to reason around a problem, prove a result, justify an answer or correct another’s mistake with a mathematical reason.
  • This can be summarised as the “do it, use it, prove it” approach.

In the associated resources, these are clearly identified through tiered approaches to tasks.


Alongside the main summative assessments taken by students three times per year (see the assessment policy), students will be tested during the course of the year on the individual topics once each of these has been covered. These assessments are formative and designed to provide teachers with an overview of students understanding and at which level of understanding the students are working at. DIRT (dedicated improvement and reflection time) has been built in at regular intervals as well as after each assessment into every unit allowing students time to do purposeful practise and complete catch up work on any topics they require further work on to fully understand.

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Frequently used websites 

Login details can be obtained via the Maths Department


My Maths

Times Tables Rock Stars

Parallel Maths